Football = Socialism


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Today a friend of mine posted an excerpt from an article on the Huffington Post written by comedian Bill Maher.  In this article, the comedian and TV personality makes a comparison between the NFL and socialism.  I hope to answer most of the flaws in the article in my blog today.  Please excuse the bad language.  As a fearsome defender of the first amendment I felt it was inappropriate to censor the speaker.  Enjoy and as always I welcome you comments.

New Rule: With the Super Bowl only a week away, Americans must realize what makes NFL football so great: socialism. That’s right, for all the F-15 flyovers and flag waving, football is our most successful sport because the NFL takes money from the rich teams and gives it to the poor teams… just like President Obama wants to do with his secret army of ACORN volunteers. Green Bay, Wisconsin has a population of 100,000. Yet this sleepy little town on the banks of the Fuck-if-I-know River has just as much of a chance of making it to the Super Bowl as the New York Jets – who next year need to just shut the hell up and play.

First major flaw in this whole op–ed piece is the glossing over Maher makes about ACORN.  Eleven states have filed charges against the organization due to fraudulent voter registration practices.  Also, on several occasions, as shown by the video investigations of a few college students, they actively encourage people to break the law.

Now, me personally, I haven’t watched a Super Bowl since 2004, when Janet Jackson’s nipple popped out during half time, and that split-second glimpse of an unrestrained black titty burned my eyes and offended me as a Christian. But I get it – who doesn’t love the spectacle of juiced-up millionaires giving each other brain damage on a giant flat-screen TV with a picture so realistic it feels like Ben Roethlisberger is in your living room, grabbing your sister?

If any conservative pundit had made comments like this one they would be deemed a racists by Jesse Jackson or the Reverand Al Sharpton.  Why does Bill Maher get away with it?  But I am getting off topic. Moving on…

It’s no surprise that some 100 million Americans will watch the Super Bowl next week – that’s 40 million more than go to church on Christmas – suck on that, Jesus! It’s also 85 million more than watched the last game of the World Series, and in that is an economic lesson for America. Because football is built on an economic model of fairness and opportunity, and baseball is built on a model where the rich almost always win and the poor usually have no chance. The World Series is like Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. You have to be a rich bitch just to play. The Super Bowl is like Tila Tequila. Anyone can get in.

This argument is more about the policies of a government than that of the economic system.  The economy works by its own natural rules that the government thinks that they can control.  Whenever they try and control the economy they usually fail and create a bubble that eventually burst.  Also to say that the total viewers of on major sporting event against another is any indication of preferences of their governance is dishonest.

Or to put it another way, football is more like the Democratic philosophy. Democrats don’t want to eliminate capitalism or competition, but they’d like it if some kids didn’t have to go to a crummy school in a rotten neighborhood while others get to go to a great school and their Dad gets them into Harvard. Because when that happens “achieving the American dream” is easy for some, and just a fantasy for others.

What is stopping a kid from taking the education provided for him at the taxpayers expense and doing well by it?  Nothing!  There are plenty of good students in bad schools, that go to good colleges and good careers in the future.  There are plenty of bad students in good schools too.  A bad school or neighborhood is not the fate of a child.  If they work hard, even in a bad school they can succeed.  People like W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington, and George Washington Carver all came out of a system of extreme segregation and still succeed better than some of their white counterparts.  Why?  Because they worked for it and wanted it.  Every child has an opportunity for an education.  What you do with that opportunity is up to the individual.  That is what our system is built on, individual initiative and work.  Its not the job of the government to provide equal opportunities or things.

The American Dream has never been easy.  Ask the millions of immigrants who have come to this county.  The American Dream is not about equal opportunity but about equal rights, equality before the law, and working hard to make your life today better than it was yesterday.

That’s why the NFL runs itself in a way that would fit nicely on Glenn Beck’s chalkboard – they literally share the wealth, through salary caps and revenue sharing – TV is their biggest source of revenue, and they put all of it in a big commie pot and split it 32 ways. Because they don’t want anyone to fall too far behind. That’s why the team that wins the Super Bowl picks last in the next draft. Or what the Republicans would call “punishing success.”

If no team falls behind, then why were the Detroit Lions 0-16 a few seasons ago?  If any team can make it why do I always see the Patriots in the playoffs?

In a capitalistic society wealth is shared and to a much higher and greater degree.  It is called charity.  The U.S. citizens give more money to charity than any other nation on the earth.  Even the “evil empire” of  Wal–mart gives a large portion of their profits to charity.  In fact, they are the largest charitable organization in the world.  The rich give more money to charity than you make them out to be even after they are forced to give a large portion of the wealth to the government to be given give out to others as forced charity.  The Founding Fathers believed in thrift, saving, and frugality so that you as a citizen could help out those who need it, but its your choice.

Also the members of the NFL choose to run their league in such a manner, it is their choice.  I think we would all agree that for the owners of the NFL to go to Major League Baseball or any other professional sport and tell them how to run their league would be wrong and immoral.  It’s the same with governance.  I am a sovereign individual with all powers inherent to myself.  And I am allowed to give them up to a government as I see fit.  I pay taxes for the government to protect me and my rights, which is the proper role of government as described by the Founding Fathers and political philosophers during the age of Enlightenment.  For another person or the government to tell me what I do with the money I worked for and earned is wrong, unless I can do the same to them.  That is what Progressive policies do.  They take from the productive and give to the unproductive. 

Baseball, on the other hand, is exactly like the Republicans, and I don’t just mean it’s incredibly boring. I mean their economic theory is every man for himself. The small market Pittsburgh Steelers go to the Super Bowl more than anybody – but the Pittsburgh Pirates? Levi Johnston has sperm that will not grow up and live long enough to see the Pirates in a World Series. Their payroll is about $40 million, and the Yankees is $206 million. They have about as much chance at getting in the playoffs as a poor black teenager from Newark has of becoming the CEO of Halliburton. That’s why people stop going to Pirate games in May, because if you’re not in the game, you become indifferent to the fate of the game, and maybe even get bitter – that’s what’s happening to the middle class in America. It’s also how Marie Antoinette lost her head.

Just because more people watch the Super Bowl does not mean that there is an economic lesson in the way the Major League Baseball and the NFL are managed.  Honestly, I think baseball is boring.  Obviously a lot of people do because few people watch it.  This is does not mean its an endorsement of a governmental or economic system.  I doubt people don’t watch baseball because of the governance system.  If you can prove to me otherwise I will recant such a statement.  Also this does not include the factors for why Cubs fans watch every year.  The main argument is flawed because it fails to account for those underdog stories, like the Red Sox or other teams.

Competitive sports is built on the premise that the best teams with the best players and coaches win.  What makes it exciting is when the worst team on its best day beats the best team on its worst day.  Americans love a underdog story, which is why we are so compelled by the stories of those poor black students from Newark who work their butts off to be successful against all odds.  Kind of like the Detroit Pistons when they beat the L.A. Lakers in 2004.  I loved when that happened.

Look at the people we celebrate.  Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and others who came from nothing and made something that literally changed the world.  And then most of them took their wealth and gave it back to the betterment of society.  It was Carnegie who said it is dangerous for so much wealth to be concentrated in so few hands.  Which is why he gave away all of his fortune and encouraged other “robber barons” to do the same.  They did not need government to tell them to do this.

So, you kind of have to laugh – the same angry white males who hate Obama because he’s “redistributing wealth” just love football, a sport that succeeds economically because it does exactly that. To them, the NFL is as American as hot dogs, Chevrolet, apple pie, and a second, giant helping of apple pie. But then again, they think they’re macho because their sport is football, when honestly – is there anything gayer than wearing another man’s shirt?

Another gay joke and no one will bat an eye.

I will end this article with a few quotes from Thomas Jefferson that the problem with Progressive government social welfare/safety net programs.  These are all part of the Progressive/socialist mantra of redistribution of wealth:

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association — the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

 Questions?  Comments?  Concerns?  Class dismissed.

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